Original Contributions| Volume 58, ISSUE 6, P857-863, June 2020

Reducing Pain During Emergency Arterial Sampling Using Three Anesthetic Methods: A Randomized Controlled Clinical Trial



      Taking a sample of arterial blood is widely reported as a cause of significant pain.


      To compare three anesthetic methods with standard practice (no anesthesia) to establish which was the most effective in reducing pain caused by radial artery puncture in patients requiring an arterial blood gas test in the emergency department (ED).


      A randomized controlled trial was conducted to compare the effectiveness between anesthetic cream, cryoanalgesia, and subcutaneous mepivacaine in reducing pain caused by radial artery puncture in ED patients.


      After comparing perceived pain during arterial puncture, the lowest median score was obtained in the mepivacaine group (1 interquartile range 0.6–1.3) and the highest median score in the control group (5 interquartile range 4.0–7.0). When comparing the control group with the three intervention groups, the Kruskal-Wallis test showed that mepivacaine (p = 0.023) and cryoanalgesia (p = 0.012) were associated with significantly lower pain scores. The anesthetic cream (p = 0.861) intervention group did not produce a statistically significant median difference compared with the control group.


      The results of this study encourage the use of anesthetic methods like cryoanalgesia or mepivacaine for their proven effectiveness in reducing or eliminating pain during arterial puncture.


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      Linked Article

      • Pain Relief in Arterial Sampling
        Journal of Emergency MedicineVol. 60Issue 3
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          I have read with interest the recent article, “Reducing Pain During Emergency Arterial Sampling Using Three Anesthetic Methods: A Randomized Controlled Clinical Trial” by Nicola Pagnucci et al. (1). This article is a well-designed randomized controlled trial and very important for emergency departments (EDs) and intensive care units. Although pain is the most common reason to apply to EDs, administration of analgesics is delayed or adequate pain medication is not applied in procedural interventions (2,3).
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